I heard Pastor Lawrence say once “You want to cast out a demon, but you can’t even resist a donut?” While funny, and we all laughed, it was also a powerful analogy for me at the same time. We don’t just become spiritually strong because we love Jesus and have a good heart – Spiritual strength, like physical strength, takes work!
I made up my mind to cut out sugar. For 30 days no sugar. I want to live a long, healthy life. It took me 50 years to find Tom – I want another 50 with him. I want to see my grandson & granddaughter grow up to be the mighty man and woman of God that I claim daily over their lives that they will become. I must do my part. I must live healthy… mind, body and spirit. I want my spirit stronger than my flesh. I want to be a devil stomping Ninja Warrior Grandma! 😁
Yesterday was day 2 of no sugar. I got to work and I was hungry. I overslept so no time to pack anything healthy. The hunger came, “No Kris. You can do this. Drink water. Don’t go get something from the vending machine.” Then about 9am the email arrived in my inbox as if it were straight from the devil himself… “I have White’s donuts in my office if you want one?” Whites?!? THE BEST donut in Hillsboro? No. I can’t. I won’t. I didn’t. Did I want the donut? You bet I did! Bad!! But did I eat one? Nope! I resisted!! In that moment, I had to love myself more than my desire for that donut. And it honestly felt amazing! I seriously can’t explain the “power” if you will, I felt from simply turning down a donut. From putting my flesh into submission. I thought later about how I would have felt if I had eaten that donut. Miserable. Stomach bloated. Mad at myself. A day further from my goal. A promise to God and myself broke = guilt. But in resistance, I felt like I could take on the world!! (Now as I later told a co-worker – “I told my husband he should be proud of me! I didn’t eat the donut!! What I didn’t tell him was, I didn’t see it. If I had to see and smell one, I’m not sure I could’ve resisted.” But that day is coming, next week I have to stop and buy the donuts for visitors we will be hosting. I fully intend to resist!)
I told you that story to share with you this analogy…. some of you out there have a donut you can’t put down. A vice, a bad habit, a person you let in, and while your flesh is enjoying it in the moment, you’re left with guilt, shame, hurt, anger and you want things to get better. You want change. But how? Your love for God and a desire to be close to Him, has to be more than your desire for that donut.
The bible says in James 4:7 “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee.”
Often we want to be “Super Christians” just because we have a good heart and love Jesus. We can have the best heart in the world, but if we eat a dozen donuts – or even just one a day – and submit to our flesh we will be unhealthy and out of shape. If you have a good heart and love Jesus, but continue to pick up that metaphorical donut, you will be spiritually sick. There will be no power to overcome or resist. You will live in a state of guilt and depression.
Just as my husband likes to say, resist those people and places. Don’t go there! “Don’t tie your horse to the hitchin’ post in front of the old watering hole.” Why is it we can’t resist when we want to? The devil whispers “If you resist, you’ll be sad, lonely, hurt…” because he knows once you resist? Your Spirit get a bit stronger than your flesh. Every time you resist your Spirit gains strength, you flesh gets weak. And the devil? he has to flee! I thought about my new workout routine. They tell me that “resistance” is the key to stronger muscles. “Resistance” is also the key to a stronger spiritual life. I challenge your friends – put down that donut and watch how you feel even after the first time you resist!